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Identifying and treating spider bites - Know the signs and symptoms

This is the famous brown recluse spider.
This is the famous brown recluse spider.
Wikimedia Commons Public Domain

Spider bites are no laughing matter. Treating spider bites quickly is essential. Identifying the spider bite will allow for swifter treatment. Most spider bites are harmless. Some may be serious or even fatal. Everyone should know the rules of identifying and treating spider bites. I have a daughter who is severely allergic so I learned these rules the hard way.

Fang Marks

At the center of spider bites there will be two fang marks. When spider bites first occur these will be the only identifying marks. Watch these fang marks for further signs. Treating the bite medically may be necessary, dependent on the person's reaction to spider bites.

Swollen Circle

Shortly after being bitten by a spider, the area around the fang marks may become swollen. This will look similar to other bug bites. This is a normal reaction to spider bites and treating the bite medically is not necessary at this point.

Red Ring

A red ring may appear around the swollen area of the spider bite. This is also normal and treating the bite medically is not required at this time. You may also notice a second whitish ring around the red ring. This is a normal spider bite reaction as well.


At this point spider bites will appear target like. The fang marks where the venom was injected will be at the center of the swollen circle and the red ring and white ring will surround them both. Treating spider bites of this nature involves simply washing with soap and water. Use an ice cube to relieve pain, itch and swelling.

More Serious Symptoms

A small majority of spider bites will require medical treatment. It's important to watch for signs of a more serious reaction to spider bites. Treating these more serious spider bites will require a visit to the doctor or emergency room.

Swelling and Discoloration

Watch for swelling and discoloration beyond the original target zone. One good way to monitor spider bites is to draw a circle around the original bite target with a marker. When spider bites spread more than an inch beyond the circle, it's time for treating them seriously.

Additional Physical Symptoms

Watch for symptoms that signify spider bites that may require medical treatment. These might include rashes, itching, headaches, nausea, vomiting fever, chills and muscle or joint pain. Treating spider bites medically and professionally is necessary at this time.

Please Note: The author is not a medical professional. Consult a physician for treatment of spider bites.




This article was previously published on a closed Yahoo! property by this author.

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